International History

1. Early Leaders in Lambda Chi Alpha
2. General Fraternity History
3. Lambda Chi International

“The vision of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity is to prepare and encourage collegiate men of good character, high ethics, and noble ideals to contribute positively to the world in which they live.”

Early Leaders in Lambda Chi Alpha

Warren A. Cole, Boston
Founder, Grand High Alpha 1911-1920

Unlike most fraternities, Lambda Chi Alpha began as the dream of one man: Warren Albert Cole. He was deliberate, soft-spoken and mild of manner yet gave the impression of one whose mind was constantly at work, appraising and calculating. With undergraduates finding his personality attractive, he inspired intense loyalty. Despite rather limited experience he continued to work on his dream of founding a great international fraternity in the face of numerous crushing disappointments. His technique was to write to a non-fraternity man at a desirable college and inquire if the individual was interested in establishing a chapter of his small but growing fraternity. After more than a hundred rejections (a few in person rather than by letter), Cole finally received a positive reply from Lewis Drury at the University of Massachusetts in early February 1912. Now he had a new problem: to produce a Constitution, ritual, and emblems. Cole bought time by producing a badge and naming the required officers. He set to work and, by the mid-May installation, produced both a Constitution (largely based on the legal fraternity Gamma Eta Gamma to which he had belonged) and a ritual )heavily based on a farming organization known as the Patrons of Husbandry, or Grange, with some ideas borrowed from Freemasonry). The same spring another positive reply, this one from Albert Cross at the University of Pennsylvania, led to a general fraternity consisting of an international president (Cole), eight theoretical members in the Boston chapter, eight in the Massachusetts chapter, and thirteen members at Pennsylvania. Cole worked with the Massachusetts chapter to produce the first coast of arms (the Gamma Plate). He accepted, with reasonably good humor, the devastating critique of his work on emblems and ritual from the Pennsylvania chapter despite its often tactless form, and utilized the skills of many of the men brought into the fraternity with its rapid expansion (28 chapters 1912-1916). With the advent of World War I, Cole was left as the sole worker at the general fraternity level including being editor of the magazine. Through his energetic efforts the Fraternity no only survived the war but boasted 53 chapters at the at the first post-war General Assembly that convened in Ann Arbor on Dec. 29, 1919. He was not returned to the office of Grand High Alpha at that General Assembly and soon thereafter ceased all involvement with the Fraternity.

Dr. John E. Mason, Jr., Pennsylvania
Board Member 1912-1937

Jack Mason came into the Fraternity as a charter member of our second functioning chapter. Fluent in French, German, Italian, Spanish, Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, he assembled our current initiation ritual from numerous ancient and medieval texts. Although his name is most closest associated with our ritual and emblems—including the current coat of arms, it can be argued that his greatest contribution was in the development of the Fraternity’s publications. He was the first editor of the open magazine and, as chairman of the Board of Publications, worked closely with Linn Lightner when he assumed the duties of editor. Jack was also involved in the development of the Paedagogus (member education manual) and guided the assembling of the song book. Jack served as Grand High Alpha from 1930-1933 and as Historian of the Fraternity until his death in 1946.

Samuel Dyer, Maine
Board Member 1913-1923

Sam was one of the founders of the Psi Alpha Lambda local fraternity at Maine. He was instrumental in bringing the successor, Delta Kappa, into our fraternity and was rewarded with a position on the Board a week before his chapter was even installed. He served as business manager of the magazine and developed the first academic standards program. He worked with Hack Mason on the development of the initiation ritual and was the author of the Officer Installation ceremony. Virtually alone he published the 1914 Directory of Members. During the post-World War I period San served as a skilled mediator in the Cole vs. Cross/Mason/Fischer conflicts. Throughout his life he was an exemplar of the ideals of Lambda Chi Alpha.

Ernst J. C. Fischer, Cornell
Board Member 1914-1933

Fisch came into the Fraternity as an alumnus, having been one of the rollicking group known as the Mug and Jug—predecessor of our Cornell chapter. He happened to be in Worcester on business at the time of the 1914 General Assembly; his skills were so obvious that he was immediately placed on the board. Fisch was instrumental in the establishment of the endowment fund that was critical to our survival during the great depression. He developed the Universal Accounting System, was involved in the development of the Paedagogus, and was the only man other than our founder to server more than a single four-year term as Grand High Alpha (1920-1929). In the mid-1930s he served on the staff as a traveling consultant for special chapter problems. As usual at the 1978 General Assembly he divided his time between reminiscing with the older alumni and holder small undergraduate groups spellbound with tales of the earliest days…a fitting conclusion to sixty-four years of service to his beloved Fraternity.

Bruce H. McIntosh, DePauw
Chief Executive 1920-1940

Bruce was Cole’s principle contact in the Darsee Club that led to our chapter at DePauw. He began editing our open magazine in 1918, but it was clear by February 1920 that his talents were more needed as chief executive officer. Bruce established the first Office of Administration in Kingston and Wilke-Barre Pennsylvania (selected to be near President Fischer, who lived in the area), then made the move to Indianapolis in December 1920. He developed virtually all of our office procedures, designed most of the ritual equipment including initiating officer robes and pendants, and generally brought the fraternity to a stage where it was greatly respected for its administrative procedures—all on a minuscule budget. Bruce left the employ of the Fraternity after overseeing the integration of the former Theta Kappa Nu and Lambda Chi Alpha chapter into a greater whole. In his later years he presented the Fraternity with beautifully hand-painted rendering of the various coats of arms in addition to providing sage council on request.

Linn C. Lightner, Franklin and Marshall
Editor 1920-1970

Linn was chairman of the Harbaugh Club committee seeking affiliation with a national fraternity and thus was instrumental to bringing Lambda Chi Alpha to Franklin and Marshall. He began his service to the General Fraternity with the November 1918 issue as Associate Editor under Bruce McIntosh. When Bruce be Administrative Secretary, Linn began his 50-year term as editor of our open magazine. Through 1970 the magazine was a “journal of record” that chronicled each and every event. But Linn was far more than a careful observer. An automatic member of the Board due to being Editor (a practice eliminated in 1954), he was centrally involved in all decisions, particularly the expansion to new schools. Indeed, Linn was known throughout the interfraternal world as the expert on charter grants and withdrawals. After his retirement as Editor, Linn researched the history of our Fraternity and produced an invaluable 500 page manuscript.

Dr. Winslow S. Anderson, ΘKN, Rollins
Founder, Board Member 1924-1935 & 1940-1946

“Doc” Anderson was responsible for the founding of Tau Lambda Delta at Rollins, at North Carolina State, and the University of Florida. Since all three were among the eleven founding chapters of Theta Kappa Nu, it was natural that he served as its first Grand Archon (1924-1928). During the term as President he also served as an Educational Leadership Consultant to the chapters. He was Grand Treasurer for seven years. He later served the united fraternity both as International Treasurer and as a member of the first Board of Investment Advisers.

The Rev. J. H. Krenmyre, ΘKN, Iowa Wesleyan
Founder, Board Member 1924-1939

“Dad” Krenmyre, a spellbinding orator, was the only man to serve as an active member for the entire life of Theta Kappa Nu. He developed the ritual and edited the Theta News for its first decade. He developed the academic programming of Theta Kappa Nu, including a program of graduate scholarships that are continues today by our Educational Foundation. “Dad” was instrumental in the smooth union of the two fraternities and served the general fraternity as Associate Historian from the merger until his death in 1951.

General Fraternity History


1909 Warren A. Cole and two other law students found Alpha Zeta of Lambda Chi Alpha at Boston University in Boston, Massachusetts. 1910 First ritualistic initiation is conducted. 1912 Lambda Chi Alpha becomes a national fraternity with the installation of the University of Massachusetts, University of Pennsylvania, Pennsylvania State University, Brown University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology chapters. 1913 The Second General Assembly proclaimed the ideals of Lambda Chi Alpha by adopting the Fraternity’s secret mottos and approving revisions to the Initiation Ritual, coat of arms, and badge. The date of the General Assembly, March 22, 1913, and its achievements are celebrated annually as Founders’ Day. 1914 Lambda Chi Alpha’s first magazine, the Purple, Green, and Gold, is published. The present Initiation Ritual is adopted by the Third General Assembly. Lambda Chi Alpha joins the National Interfraternity Conference. 1915Zeta Zephyr is the first chapter publication, published by Zeta Zeta at Penn State. 1916 First inter-chapter meeting (now Leadership Conclave) is held in Indianapolis. 1917 Twenty-five hundred Lambda Chi’s (90 percent of the membership) are in military service during World War I. r


1920The central office opened at Kingston, Pennsylvania, and moved to Indianapolis in December, becoming the first fraternity or sorority to locate its central office in Indianapolis. The first full-time salaried administrative secretary, Bruce McIntosh, is hired. Founding Father Warren A. Cole resigns his membership after accusations of financial irregularities and alteration of official documents from some members of the Grand High Zeta. 1924 Delegates from 11 local societies convened at Springfield, Missouri, and formed Theta Kappa Nu. The first full-time salaried traveling secretary, J. Fred Speer, is employed to devote full time to chapter visitation. Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity becomes incorporated. The first issue of Theta News is published. Theta Kappa Nu announces its first graduate scholarship. 1926 The first edition of The Paedagogus, the official manual of fraternity education, is published. 1927 Lambda Chi Alpha becomes an international fraternity with the installation of Epsilon-Epsilon at the University of Toronto. 1928 The practice of hazing is roundly condemned by Lambda Chi Alpha at an NIC meeting.


1932The Purple, Green, and God changes its name to the Cross & Crescent. Bruce H. McIntosh becomes chairman of the Fraternity Executives Association. A central figure in its founding, he is the only one to have served two terms as its head. 1935 The first members are inducted into the Order of Merit. 1939 The union of Theta Kappa Nu and Lambda Chi Alpha increases the chapter roll from 77 to 105 and the membership from 20,000 to 27,000, becoming the largest merger in fraternity history.


1940 Lambda Chi Alpha purchases its first headquarters building, located in Indianapolis. 1943 Leroy Wilson, former Grand Archon of Theta Kappa Nu, becomes the first of four Lambda Chi’s to head the National Interfraternity Conference. 1944 An estimated 13,000 members serve in the armed forces during World War II; more than 400 die. Forty-nine of the 129 chapters are inactive due to military service. 1946 John E. Mason Memorial Foundation (now Lambda Chi Alpha Educational Foundation Inc.) is created from his donation upon his death. 1949 The first Management Training Seminar (now Leadership Seminar) is held at Wittenberg College in Springfield, Ohio.


1952 The position of chapter services secretary (now director of chapter services) is created. The Annual Fund campaign is established as a means for alumni to financially support the Fraternity beyond their college days. 1957 Founding Father Warren A. Cole is reinstated as a member in good standing. 1959 Fiftieth anniversary re-dedication ceremonies are held.


1960 The first members are inducted into the Order of Achievement and Order of Interfraternity Service. 1961 Upsilon Zeta at Louisiana State University becomes the first chapter to initiate 1,000 members. 1967 Lambda Chi Alpha initiates its 100,000th member, the fifth fraternity to do so. 1968 George W. Spasyk becomes executive vice president after Duke Flad’s death. 1969 The concept of Fraternity education replaces pledge education. The first Regional High Pi Conference (now Alumni Leadership Conference) is held.


1970 The first meeting of the Student Advisory Committee is held, and the first undergraduate member, Brad Peabody, is elected to the Grand High Zeta. Linn C. Lightner retires after 50 years of service as editor of the Cross & Crescent, the longest editorship in fraternity history. The first Duke Flad Outstanding Undergraduate Award is presented to Fred Suggs, Jr. 1972 The term “associate member” replaces the term “pledge” in Lambda Chi Alpha. 1973 The first Grand High Alpha Awards and Phoenix Awards are presented. 1974 The new International Headquarters Building opens in northwest Indianapolis at 8741 Founders Road.


1983 The Standards for Chapter Excellence program is introduced at the Leadership Seminar at Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana. 1984 Numerous Founders’ Day and other commemorative events are conducted in celebration of Lambda Chi Alpha’s 75th anniversary. 1985 The first McIntosh awards are presented to the chapters that successfully implement the Standards for Chapter Excellence program. 1988 A Resolution on Alcoholic Beverages is adopted by the 42nd General Assembly that prohibits chapters from purchasing or providing alcohol.


1990 George W. Spasyk retires as executive vice president following 40 years of service on the administrative staff. The position of High Iota (risk manager) is adopted by the 43rd General Assembly, the first fraternity to create a risk management officer in every chapter. The 2.25 minimum grade point standard is adopted by the 43rd General Assembly. 1991 Lambda Chi Alpha initiates its 200,000th member, the third fraternity to do so. 1993 Omega Zeta at Auburn University becomes the first chapter to initiate 2,000 members. Lambda Chi Alpha sponsors the inaugural North American Food Drive, the largest single-day fraternity philanthropic project, and raises more than 256,000 pounds of food for the hungry. The Lambda Chi Alpha Educational Foundation of Canada is created. 1994 The regional leadership director position is created, adding five new staff members dedicated to chapter and alumni services. 1995 In July, the General Fraternity is presented with the Summit Award from the American Society of Association Executives for its 1994 Brothers Feeding Others North American Food Drive efforts—becoming the first fraternity ever to receive this honor. The totals of the third annual North American Food Drive exceed 550,000 pounds of food, making it the largest single-day community service event of any student organization. 1996 The 46th General Assembly in Dallas, Texas, adds two new positions to the Grand High Zeta. The ruling allows the 10 elected Board members to recruit two additional men for the newly created two-year terms, holding the director positions of Grand High Epsilon and Rho. That same summer, The LEAP program is introduced at Leadership Academy prior to the General Assembly in Dallas, Texas. It recognizes a commitment among our members to Lead by Example And Precept by attending one of four seminar levels designed to enhance a member’s leadership skills. 1997 The LEAP program is introduced at regional leadership conclaves and Leadership Seminar. It introduces, develops, and recognizes a commitment among our members to Lead by Example And Precept by attending one of four levels designed to enhance a member’s leadership skills. 1999 LEAP evolves into Impact Leadership, a program that supplements leadership training with interpersonal communication skills. Later in the year, Lambda Chi Alpha develops a strategic plan for its staff, complete with a mission, vision, and goal-oriented objectives that focus more on the undergraduate and alumni member.

Lambda Chi International

The Office of Administration Throughout your lifetime membership, it is the function of the Office of Administration to serve you and your chapter so as to help make your fraternity experience meaningful, beneficial, and satisfying. The Office of Administration is responsible for conducting all of the routine business of the Fraternity under the direction of the Grand High Zeta, and according to the laws and policies set by the General Assembly. The Office is a source of information, guidance and leadership in which the Administrative Staff serves our chapter, and all other chapters, and members for the development and well-being of Lambda Chi Alpha.

The General Assembly The General Assembly is a convention of delegates: one delegate from each chapter and colony, present members of the Grand High Zeta, past members of the Grand High Zeta (known as the Board of Councilors), members of the Order of Merit, and elected delegates from the Alumni Conference each have a vote in the Assembly. The Assembly makes the laws o the Fraternity and elects its officers, who are known as the Grand High Zeta. According to the constitution, undergraduates can never hold less than two-thirds of the vote in a General Assembly. Outstanding as the Assemblies are in matters of business, they are equally outstanding in providing recreation and unforgettable inspiration for all members. The advantages of a General Assembly are not solely for delegates. There are always more undergraduate non-delegates than delegates present, and it is these, as much as the official representatives, who give character to such events and make the memorable. And yes, there is usually a number of alumni attending these Assemblies as well.

The Grand High Zeta During the period between General Assemblies, the Grand High Zeta governs the General Fraternity. It is their duty to enforce that laws enacted by the General Assembly. Its executive decisions are made either at meeting or in the interim between meetings in the form of Grand High Zeta Orders, acted upon by referendum. The Grand High Zeta possesses specific authority under certain conditions to suspend or revoked the charter of a chapter and to suspend or expel a member. The Grand High Zeta may also approve the establishment of a colony of the granting of a charter to a chapter.

Impact Leadership Impact Leadership is the result of Lambda Chi Alpha’s effort to create a comprehensive leadership program. The General Fraternity began offering general leadership training as a complement to regular chapter programming at Fraternity meetings in the 1990s. In 1996, under the leadership of Dr. Ed Leonard, the first Leadership Academy was held in conjunction with the 1996 General Assembly. This effort was the first stand-alone General Fraternity program focused entirely on leadership development. Following the success of the Academy, a leadership curriculum was developed: LEAP – Lead by Example And Precept. After several iterations, LEAP was transformed into Impact Leadership. During this transformation, a professional staff position was added to write the final version of the four-level program. Impact Leadership is the result of immeasurable staff and volunteer time, including undergraduate members, alumni, and non-members. In 1999, Lambda Chi Alpha unveiled one of the most comprehensive and interactive leadership modules available to collegiate men. This program, known as Impact Leadership, is a four-phase, multi-year module that focuses on an interactive approach to leadership. Since its introduction, Impact Leadership has reached over 2,000 undergraduate members. Lambda Chi Alpha continues to expose more members to this premier leadership program with the implementation of Level One at the chapter level.

The Student Advisory Committee The General Assembly in 1970 approved legislation creating the Student Advisory Committee (SAC) and placed its chairman, elected by the committee itself, on the Grand High Zeta. There are 12 members of the Student Advisory Committee, each representing one of the Conclave areas. SAC discusses topics facing the Fraternity and often develops legislation to be submitted to the General Assembly. Furthermore, SAC provides the Grand High Zeta with the undergraduate thoughts, concerns, and opinions that are an inherent part of the Fraternity’s decision-making process. Each SAC member is responsible for maintaining regular contact with the chapters in his Conclave and keeping them informed of the developments of the General Fraternity within his geographic area. This is accomplished through regular newsletters, surveys, and other correspondence. SAC meets with the members of the Grand High Zeta three times during the year and members are in regular contact with each other by mail.

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